Solana Beach opposes Del Mar Fairgrounds deal

By Claire Harln
Staff Writer

Following possible rumors that a group of horse owners pulled out of a deal to invest $30 million into the City of Del Mar’s purchase of the Del Mar Fairgrounds from the state, the Solana Beach City Council released a letter last week clarifying its position — one of opposition — on the potential transaction.

“We have tried to make it clear that we don’t support a single city owning it, and they said they want to work together, but they haven’t gotten back to us,” said Solana

Beach Mayor Lesa Heebner, who sent the letter, dated Aug. 3, to Del Mar officials but said the council got no response.
Signed by Heebner and Solana Beach Councilman Dave Roberts and addressed to Del Mar Mayor Don Mosier and Del Mar Councilman Mark Filanc, the letter was in part a response to a staff report issued by Mosier and Filanc on July 25 to update the community on the fairgrounds purchase proposal. The report stated that the City of Del Mar “continues to move forward on the proposed purchase, reach out to regional stakeholders and have discussion with the City of Solana Beach and organized labor.”

Talk of the investors — three horse owners led by Mike Pegram — backing out of the deal began with a Thoroughbred Times interview published on July 9 in which Pegram was quoted as saying “it just didn’t work out.” A subsequent July 22 article in the San Diego Union-Tribune — which Solana Beach officials cited in their letter as a premise behind clarifying their psition on the matter — also stated key investors had pulled out.

Mosier and Filanc responded to these news reports in the July 25 Del Mar City Council meeting, however, saying the deal is not dead.
“That wasn’t what the horsemen had told us,” said Mosier in an Aug. 30 interview. He said the potential investors are simply holding off on the deal until final numbers are released after the races close on Sept. 7, and the financial performance of this year’s race meet can be reevaluated.

It was difficult to respond to Solana Beach officials’ letter, said Mosier, because it didn’t address the points he and Filanc made in the July 25 meeting.
“We tried to relay in the council meeting that the fairgrounds are still for sale,” said Mosier, adding that if the state decides to support the sale, it is possible that Pegram and his investors may still be interested.
“If not them, other investors might be interested,” said Mosier. “It’s not dead; it’s in limbo but could be resurrected in the fall or next winter.”

Mosier said there was no formal response to Solana Beach, but there was informal communication.
“Our interim city manager said that we appreciate their comments and will respond in due course,” Mosier said. “Much depends on events not in Del Mar’s control, so we’ll see what happens.”

In addition to clarifying that the Solana Beach City Council “will not support any one entity controlling the use, management and operations of fairground and horseracing activities,” the letter from the Solana Beach City Council stated it does not support the “charitable trust” concept of ownership as proposed by the City of Del Mar because it does not provide adequate assurances that the single entity of the City of Del Mar would not have ultimate control over the fairgrounds.

The letter stated that the council also doesn’t support the “charitable trust” concept because it is “overly complex, cumbersome and vulnerable to operational and management conflicts between horseracing and non-horseracing activities” and does not provide a clear resolution mechanism.

“Nor does it provide for adequate regional input and control of the operations or future operations of this regional asset,” the letter stated.
The City of Solana Beach does, however, support the regional control and management of the fairgrounds.

Related posts:

  1. Solana Beach mayor drafts letter to Del Mar officials in wake of possible rumors
  2. Will state and local personnel changes impact Del Mar Fairgrounds deal?
  3. Solana Beach wants part ownership of fairgrounds
  4. Solana Beach calls for joint ownership of fairgrounds
  5. Del Mar seeks Solana Beach’s support for fairgrounds purchase

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=26891

Posted by Staff on Sep 1, 2011. Filed under Carmel Valley, Del Mar, News, Solana Beach, carmel valley. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Solana Beach opposes Del Mar Fairgrounds deal”

  1. Bob Loblaw

    Dear Del Mar City Council:

    As a taxpayer, I have one question: Can I have my money back? You know, the half-million you spent on "consultants" for this "deal".

Leave a Reply

Archives

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

LA JOLLA NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RSS RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

  • Alumni and Advancement Center named for longtime supporters Larry and Cindy Bloch of Rancho Santa Fe
    The University of Rochester’s Alumni and Advancement Center in Rochester, N.Y. has been renamed the Larry and Cindy Bloch Alumni and Advancement Center in recognition of the couple’s support of the university and, in particular, its Advancement programs. In a ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 15, UR President Joel Seligman formally dedicated the center in honor of […]
  • RSF Association Board Biz: It’s fire season: Be prepared
    The Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District (RSFFPD) was officially formed in 1946, in the aftermath of a devastating fire that took place in 1943 and destroyed brush, farmland and homes from Rancho Bernardo through Rancho Santa Fe, all the way to Solana Beach and Del Mar. Today the Fire District spans 38 square miles and protects nearly 30,000 residents. W […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe couple lead way in helping those with thyroid disorders
    Few people may know that Graves’ disease is one of the most common autoimmune diseases afflicting Americans today. Fewer still may know that the only national non-profit dedicated to its patients is headquartered in Rancho Santa Fe. The Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation, co-chaired by Rancho Santa Fe residents Kathleen Bell Flynn and Steve Flynn, has be […]